Friends and family celebrate life of Prof Schreiner

2008-06-02 00:00

Friends and family of the late Professor Deneys Schreiner held a memorial gathering in the Tembaletu Community Education Centre hall yesterday to celebrate the life of a father, friend, academic, activist and humanist.

Schreiner, former vice principal of the University of Natal, died on April 26 after a long illness and was buried at a private funeral service.

Fellow academic and longtime friend Colin Gardner described Schreiner as an icon who left several lasting legacies, including Tembaletu. It was Schreiner’s vision more than 20 years ago that gave Pietermaritzburg Tembaletu — a vibrant education and community centre.

The Reverend Dr Simon Gqubule recalled the strangeness of a priest having a close friendship with a scientist who was not religious. Yet it was a friendship that saw the Gqubule family stay with the Schreiners when they, along with other residents of the Federal Theological Seminary in Imbali, were chased out during the height of apartheid-era violence.

It was a friendship that saw Schreiner and his wife Else later stay in the Gqubules’ township home in Uitenhage. “How many of you can say you stayed in a township,” Gqubule asked the mixed gathering. “For me, Deneys Schreiner will be remembered as a man who lived for others … ”

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